It is a very ballsy time of year. In so many ways. It takes balls to do Christmas (family politics, pre-Christmas traffic, shopping centres – yikes!), we hang balls on trees, hold balls, play with balls, and make balls.

For 24 weeks of the year baking urges result in cakes, biscuits, slices. But then 2 weeks before Christmas all we can think about is balls. Rum balls I am referring to but if your mind went elsewhere… as you were. 

Interestingly, a conversation last week revealed that many people don’t actually put rum in their rum balls. Surely then they are just chocolate balls? I’m from Queensland, where a rum ball unspiked with one of our national treasures, Bundaberg Rum, could well get you kicked out of the state. But here’s the thing… I like rum, but I love whisky.

Whisky balls covered in toasted coconut with a Riddle glass holding whisky and a bottle of Starward wine cask whisky in the background


I have been branching out from just being a #winegeek in the last year to exploring drinks in general. It has meant I have delved into the rabbit hole of the enormous Australia gin scene, booked a holiday to Japan to wrap my head around sake and fallen in love with whisky – my Scottish ancestors must be proud.

Close of of chocolate whisky balls with a glass of whisky in the background

I make balls every year. Because balls are an important part of Christmas. I use whatever is on hand. Last year it was Pedro Ximenez sherry. This year it had to be whisky. Rather than just lace the basic recipe with a different spirit I wanted to incorporate more of the caramel and toast aspects I love about whisky. These are a little more work than your standard 4 ingredient chocolate balls but they’re  worth it. With a whisper of caramel from the dates, toastiness from the coconut and a tiny hint of coffee to balance the sweetness.

Enjoy, and Merry Christmas!


Chocolate Whisky balls
Yields 36
A spin on the usual rum ball recipe with Whisky, dates and toasted coconut
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  1. 2 cups desiccated coconut
  2. 1 packet of Milk Arrowroot biscuits, crushed (or other plain biscuits) (250g or 8oz)
  3. 2 Tablespoons cocoa
  4. 1 tsp instant coffee powder
  5. Pinch of salt
  6. 1 can condensed milk (400g or 13 oz)
  7. 3 tablespoons Whisky
  8. 2 Medjool dates finely chopped
  1. Place chopped dates and whisky in a small bowl and allow to soak
  2. Place coconut in a large frypan over low heat. Stir constantly until the coconut begins to colour. Remove from heat and continue to stir until a consistent golden colour
  3. Remove from frypan and allow to cool.
  4. Place crushed biscuits, 1 cup toasted coconut, cocoa, coffee in a large bowl and mix until combined.
  5. Add condensed milk and whisky/date mixture and mix well.
  6. If you have time, allow mixture to chill in the fridge for 1 hour.
  7. Roll into balls. I use a teaspoon measure for consistency.
  8. Coat balls well in toasted coconut.
  9. Refrigerate overnight to allow the flavours to meld
  1. If possible, it is best to soak the dates overnight.
  2. Hot tip for reduced-mess rolling is to keep an ice pack next to you and chill the palms of your hands after every couple of balls
Champagne and Chips

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